JFK's Legacy: The Awakening of Conspiracy, and the Inauguration of the Peaceful Science Driver
The two most lasting effects of the "Camelot" era, the John F. Kennedy Presidency, are generally little discussed in true depth by left progressive circles. First, his space program initiative announced the promise to put a man on the Moon, and second, the spinoff of his assassination into a conspiracy theory industry resulting in a sea change of public perception about how government and industry policies are actually implemented. The space program gave us a technological electronic revolution via the necessity for miniaturization and acted as the first "technology driver" in history that was not an outgrowth of warfare. And Kennedy's assassination by an "invisible hand" cabal of CIA, Pentagon, FBI, Mafia, Cuban fascist and British fascist (PERMENDEX) elements began to rip the camouflage off the cartoon presented to us in our education system's history textbooks.
It didn't take long after JFK's death for researchers such as Mark Lane to demonstrate that the Warren Commission Report on the JFK assassination did nothing more than criminally play upon the credulity and naivete of the public and its representatives. The Church Committee in 1975 began to hammer nails into the intelligence community coffin using the Freedom of Information Act, and the hammering has not stopped since but has grown broader with the recent Edward Snowden revelations. The headquarters players (and their antecedents) in the Dealey Plaza assassination, at the very top, had been the subject of scrutiny off and on for decades. Marine Corps General Smedley Butler in 1934 revealed the "Business Plot" when he told a congressional committee that a group of wealthy industrialists, led by banker J.P. Morgan, were planning a military coup to overthrow Franklin D. Roosevelt, with Butler selected to become a fascist dictator. Conspiracy coverage was always front page material in the radical leftist press, usually in regards to CIA de-stabilizations and assassinations in the 3rd World, such as the overthrow of the democratically elected regime of Mossadegh in Iran in 1953, or the coup against democratically elected Allende in Chile in 1973, with the bogeyman chronically being the CIA and its capitalist stooges. The reverse is more accurate: a multinational financial oligarchy and its CIA stooges. This strategic error persists into present leftist thinking.
The general public, needless to say, remained un-privy to the targeting of the CIA et al by "Workers World" and other Marxist newspapers. This level of ignorance was rolled back somewhat during the 1960's counterculture revolt against American foreign and domestic policy and its paradigm of business as usual, but remained mired as ever in targeting specifically the CIA and, vaguely, capitalism. This omission via vagueness has plagued leftist thought and has throttled its ability to be effective beyond the cultural theater of operations, a syndrome recently witnessed directing the Occupy circus. In the 1980s there was a movement away from general conspiracy research, particularly books about economic history such as Anthony Sutton's "Wall St. and the Rise of Hitler" and Carrol Quigley's "Tragedy and Hope" by leftists who found sanctuary from the complexities of life on planet Earth in various forms of New Age spirituality and safe causes such as animal rights and environmentalism.
Conspiracy was considered "paranoid" and upsetting, materialist and unworthy of sublime introspection. Meanwhile a torrent of papers, books, articles, pamphlets poured out of the offices of bete noir economist Lyndon LaRouche, digging deep into the finances and infrastructures of extra-governmental cabals of globalist monopolist plutocrats and their operatives in basements and think tanks who were so powerful that they played both sides of the political spectrum because it didn't matter who got elected; they owned Presidents and legislators and board rooms and intelligence agencies and mercenary assassins and mafias. LaRouche was vilified and railroaded, but the sheer volume of of his research and instant accessibility to his several websites began to sap the foundations of ignorance to the point that the Thrive movement begun by Procter and Gamble heir, Foster Gamble, began naming the same names and revealing the machinations of the same think tanks and globalist cabals, and is gaining traction among the head-in-the-sand New Age demographic. Conspiracy media personalities such as Alex Jones and Jessie Ventura are almost household names with TV cable network programs and they name the same names. Radio talk shows such as Jeff Rense, Art Bell and Clyde Lewis, tho sometimes dabbling at the UFO fringes, keep the curiosity and interest level alive. And how many movies have been made, starting with Warren Beatty's "The Paralax View" and ending with Oliver Stone's "JFK", that pit the whistle blower against an array of rogue intel operatives?
Conspiracy theory and research is now a part of the cultural fabric and a topic of daily discourse among multitudes who simply no longer trust the official version of anything, and among people who understand the need to think critically. This is the legacy of JFK's sacrifice. At a cultural level, the initial presumption now is that government and its bureaucracies, and corporations and their bureaucracies, are a priori suspect. We now know that a bureaucrat's primary skill set revolves around how to make their polices palatable, how to deflect or stonewall inquiry, how to pack their staff with sycophants, how to outright lie. The assassinations of JFK, RFK and MLK—and perhaps what JFK and RFK ultimately represented—are synonymous with government and corporate collusion in an unending effort to bring human progress to a standstill, to stifle dissent and truth, to keep any new idea from competing and overturning their petty warlord fiefdoms. But human progress is every bit as Darwinian and instinctual and biological as those tooth and claw attributes of existence that bullying sociopaths like to pull out of their bag of tricks in order to justify the human misery they sow on a daily basis.
JFK absolutely knew that human and humane progress was what made us divine vehicles of truth and beauty. War making has essentially defined what it is to be human up to the 21st century, and the minds' capacity for invention has been largely bent to that task for millennia. The Florentine Renaissance artists, typified by Da Vinci, were forced by necessity to use their genius in an effort of one faction to subjugate and dominate another faction. The fact that war making has traditionally been the nursery for invention, much of which has later proven socially beneficial, is actually used by fascists to justify war and their social Darwinist "survival of the fittest" claptrap. But a threshold in this insanity has been arrived at. For the technologies born of conflict have slowly made war more and more impossible to wage. Electronic media bring the hideous face of war to our laptop screens. It can no longer be glorified. Electronic media bring the points of view of the other side to our work stations. Ignorance is no longer bliss. Electronic media bring debate and discourse instead of weapons to our meeting halls. Electronic media bring new solutions to intractable problems to our conferences. Ideas can be compared, measured, evaluated, and prototyped free from the dictates of ideology, dogma, doctrine, habit.
When Kennedy made it a national priority to put a man on the Moon in 1961, he set in motion a chain of events that led to an amazing panoply of socially beneficial technologies, from Super Glue to cat scans to the handicam that captured Rodney King's police beating. Space travel completed the work begun by air travel by brining extreme amounts of efficiency into design work as a function of payload miniaturization. This principle of miniaturization, a direct analogue to the incredible miniaturization of molecular scale biology, has raised the level of potential perfection of social and economic interactions to a point dreamed of only by science fiction writers. For the first time in history, humanity can progress to its full potential across all social and psychological dynamics, without spewing death and destruction across the land. Technophobia thus loses it's principle wellspring which is rooted in the pathologies of conflict.
The so-called "human potential movement" would be better served if technology in its benign aspects were seen to be a more powerful force in the world than technology in its deadly aspects, and as such, lauded and encouraged in principle. JFK would want that. He believed in technology as an engine to progress. He believed in scientific method and the mental discipline required to ensure its objectivity. He believed in the potential of solving the problems of the world by pressing forward, not in a retrograde fantasy about simplicity and purity. The world ain't simple, it never has been. And until we develop minds able to walk and chew gum, confront complexity with a brain that is the result of a zillion years of evolution fully engaged with all its powers of logic, intuition, observation, comparison, clarity and humor, we'll be vulnerable to the same forces of mental dysfunction that has resisted change since Fred Flintstone coveted Barney's Leatherman pocket tool. And we'll be vulnerable to even worse threats to existence, threats that are beginning to rear menacingly upon the horizon like the fire spewing dragon of many legends, one of which was recently sighted over Chelyabinsk, Siberia.
Walter Alter is an artist, heretic and savant in northern California.